Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI) http://nucleusresearch.com We help our clients build the ROI business case for technology. Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:50:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Close the Deal? User Reviews and Unbiased Case Studies http://nucleusresearch.com/close-deal-user-reviews-unbiased-case-studies/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:50:58 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?p=10960 All of the slick photos, competitive pricing and poetic product descriptions on Amazon are typically not enough to get shoppers...

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All of the slick photos, competitive pricing and poetic product descriptions on Amazon are typically not enough to get shoppers to push the button and add an item to their cart. To close the deal, most go to the user reviews. A collection of mostly positive experiences will usually clinch it. Too many negative reviews and we typically move on for better options. Let’s face it, we’ve all dodged a bullet or two thanks to the user reviews.

It’s what I believe has helped Amazon become the dominant e-retailer. Unbiased evaluations that provide experience-based information into whether the product might be good for you too. We now consider user reviews when we pick hotels, new restaurants and even Über drivers.

It’s not just the general consensus rating either. Sure we look at how many stars a product gets, but we also read the comments for insight. “This cooler easily fit four six-packs plus the trout I caught fishing,” or “each room in the lodge has spectacular mountain views, but the chair lift is a bit of a hike.” This helps us make the decision.

It’s all about credibility. Users providing input to help fellow shoppers make better decisions, rather than a company putting its best foot forward to hawk a product. This is the same principle behind case studies and success stories for business. They go beyond ‘endorsing’ a product to show how a business has leveraged a solution with best practices and lessons learned. This helps readers imagine how they can take advantage of a technology along with constructive ideas on how to best use it.

Like Amazon’s user reviews, case studies close the deal. Knowing that other companies were successful and even gained competitive advantage by deploying a technology takes the decision across the finish line. It’s why Nucleus Research focuses so heavily on ROI case studies – in fact we’ve written more than any other analyst firm in the industry.

Which brings us back to credibility. Any company can write success stories to share with prospects and put on their Website. But they won’t carry the same weight as a case study developed by an independent, unbiased resource. For technology, that’s a reputable industry analyst firm.

We all expect a company to overly accentuate the positive and gloss over, even omit the negative aspects in a self-written case study. But when an objective third-party develops it you get an honest view, with the warts and all. And that’s what we need to make the best decision.

It’s why companies have independent auditors review their accounting. And why we pay attention to the J.D. Power and Associates ratings for cars. We are more likely to trust an article from a reputable publication than an advertisement created by the company.

It’s the very backbone of our business at Nucleus, providing independent analysis and honesty, which can sometimes come across as tough love. That’s what third parties do. The cold, hard truth, as I called it in a previous blog.

In fact, we’ve called out several technology vendors in the past for promoting overly optimistic self-produced case studies and testimonials. We’ve done this when our own internal data identified a disconnect. And while the vendors complain about our reality check and posture publicly, over time many have come to us privately to acknowledge that we were right.

The vendors do themselves no service with over zealous marketing. It might be somewhat successful in the short-term, but in the long-term overly positive success stories and content in general becomes a huge liability. They cut into the very credibility of the vendor.

The most credible content is an independently verified case study. They are powerful tools for closing deals and increasing sales.

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q180 – CRM Technology Value Matrix 2H2016 http://nucleusresearch.com/download/q180-crm-technology-value-matrix-2h2016/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:27:39 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?post_type=wpdmpro&p=10950 The post q180 – CRM Technology Value Matrix 2H2016 appeared first on Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI).

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q179 – OpenText surges ahead with EMC acquisition http://nucleusresearch.com/download/q179-opentext-surges-ahead-emc-acquisition/ Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:00:42 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?post_type=wpdmpro&p=10940 The post q179 – OpenText surges ahead with EMC acquisition appeared first on Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI).

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q178 – Informatica is the data lake lifeguard http://nucleusresearch.com/download/q178-informatica-data-lake-lifeguard/ Mon, 26 Sep 2016 19:17:19 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?post_type=wpdmpro&p=10937 The post q178 – Informatica is the data lake lifeguard appeared first on Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI).

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q177 – How JDA can make Shop and Ship a reality http://nucleusresearch.com/download/q177-jda-can-make-shop-ship-reality/ Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:41:37 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?post_type=wpdmpro&p=10926 The post q177 – How JDA can make Shop and Ship a reality appeared first on Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI).

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q175 – Guidebook – HP Elite x2 http://nucleusresearch.com/download/q175-guidebook-hp-elite-x2/ Tue, 20 Sep 2016 19:06:41 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?post_type=wpdmpro&p=10911 The post q175 – Guidebook – HP Elite x2 appeared first on Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI).

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q174 – Acumatica release 6 http://nucleusresearch.com/download/q174-acumatica-release-6/ Thu, 08 Sep 2016 16:35:06 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?post_type=wpdmpro&p=10877 The post q174 – Acumatica release 6 appeared first on Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI).

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The Cold Hard Truth: Most Industry Analyst Firms Have Lost Their Objectivity http://nucleusresearch.com/cold-hard-truth-industry-analyst-firms-lost-objectivity/ Wed, 07 Sep 2016 21:01:54 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?p=10875 Imagine if your doctor always gave you a positive bill of health, every single visit. Amazing if you were that...

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Imagine if your doctor always gave you a positive bill of health, every single visit. Amazing if you were that healthy, but we tend to go to the doctor when there is a concern. “I wouldn’t worry about that rash. I don’t think it will spread. Oh that growth. Sure it’s discolored and hurts, but it doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about.”

We’d quickly become suspicious of a doctor who doesn’t give us the difficult news and probably get a second opinion. The same goes for the mechanic who tells us to ignore that rattling sound and burning plastic smell when we drive. Who trusts the food critic that finds every restaurant wonderful, every dish delectable? Even that raw chicken tartare appetizer that makes everyone who eats it sick.

There are certain professions that we rely upon for objective assessments that can help us. Provide that cold, hard truth when necessary that can cause us to change direction and improve. This is especially important for business leaders, who too often surround themselves with a ‘yes’ team.

Industry analyst firms used to serve as that important reality check for tech companies that were overly optimistic about future products and services. Based on industry trends, customer demands and even what other competitors were developing, we could help vendors avoid pitfalls and focus on products that would gain market share.

I’ve had my share of awkward and even uncomfortable conversations, bursting a tech team’s bubble with sobering facts that made them rethink their strategy.

In a few cases, they even scrapped the product altogether and started over from scratch. These weren’t pleasant discussions, and yet they were highly constructive and ultimately saved vendors from costly and even embarrassing mistakes. There was respect for delivering the tough news and tremendous value in the information that helped them find a better course of action.

Sadly the dynamic has shifted from objective, honest experts with data-driven advice to a resource that doles out third-party validation rather easily. Don’t get me wrong here. Independent, third-party assessments are the real value that an industry analyst firm can deliver. But they don’t mean a thing if they become a paid-for seal of approval. And that is exactly what has happened to most of the industry.

The easiest way to make money as an analyst is to offer a vendor a positive report to help spin a flawed product or unpopular feature. We saw this with Windows Vista, Google Glass, Windows Phone, Amazon’s Fire Phone and many other products that are now on the scrap heap.

One top analyst firm predicted in 2011 that Windows Phone would surpass Apple’s iOS by 2015. A year later, faced with data showing the opposite, the analyst doubled down and said Window Phone would need another year, but would outpace Apple in 2016. They had data showing otherwise, yet continued to ‘promote’ the product.

Unfortunately some vendors are more incented to spend budget with an industry analyst firms to counter a difficult product critique. It’s misguided, because vendors get more value engaging a truthful analyst early on and working with that firm throughout the process to optimize its offering. So how have analysts gone from trusted advisors to collecting hush money?

Consider the pressure industry analyst firms face to make their financial numbers. The top two firms are publicly traded companies tasked with earning value for their shareholders. And there is potentially very easy money to be made helping a vendor present a product in its very best light – perhaps as an effort by said vendor to meet its own earnings projections.

I’m not saying that I know for sure such deals happen quarterly, but it is a huge conflict of interest for an ‘independent’ third party. Which begs the question; can a publicly traded industry analyst firm be impartial?

And how did industry analysts become an extension of the vendors’ ‘yes’ teams? When I started Nucleus Research in 2000, I didn’t set out to win a popularity contest. In fact, I left another firm that I believed was heading down the wrong path to form a team of analysts that deliver the hard, fact-based truth. Because I believe this is a service that helps vendors, the industry and especially customers.

We’ve delivered some tough assessments over the years and in some cases, have had vendors fight back. Even try to discredit us. A challenging task for them, given the data we were backed with. In every case, the vendor backed down and eventually admitted that our assessment was actually constructive.

I’ll share one case from many years ago. One of the first vendors to disagree with our research was exceptionally vocal in discrediting us. They claimed that our data must be wrong and told anyone who would listen. A few months after publishing the report, we got an interesting package in the mail. It contained a copy of a confidential survey that the vendor’s senior management team had commissioned a month or two before our report was published.

And yes, it found almost the exact same results we did. Gratifying for us. More importantly for Nucleus as a firm, some of the senior managers from that vendor have gone on to work at other companies and have become great clients. You see, in many cases the vendors know the truth. They need a firm that can help validate the truth, not spin the PR story.

The technology industry should demand more from industry analysts. There is no long-term value in rubber stamping everything a paying vendor puts forth. It’s time for the cold, hard truth. Find an analyst firm willing to offer that and I guarantee you will greatly increase your chances for success.

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q173 – HPE is the Advil for a big data headache http://nucleusresearch.com/download/q173-hpe-advil-big-data-headache/ Wed, 07 Sep 2016 17:52:25 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?post_type=wpdmpro&p=10865 The post q173 – HPE is the Advil for a big data headache appeared first on Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI).

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q172 – HCM Technology Value Matrix 2016 http://nucleusresearch.com/download/q172-hcm-technology-value-matrix-2016/ Wed, 07 Sep 2016 17:43:45 +0000 http://nucleusresearch.com/?post_type=wpdmpro&p=10861 The post q172 – HCM Technology Value Matrix 2016 appeared first on Nucleus Research | Return On Investment (ROI).

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